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Indoor range said "no" to my loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Shrinkmd, Mar 15, 2012.

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What will make my loads smoke less than hardcast lead and 2400?

Poll closed Apr 14, 2012.
  1. Change to jacketed bullets, keep 2400

    28 vote(s)
    37.8%
  2. Keep the bullets, but change to cleaner, more expensive powder

    5 vote(s)
    6.8%
  3. You're going to probably have to do both

    11 vote(s)
    14.9%
  4. Screw it, just drive to the outdoor range and bundle up

    30 vote(s)
    40.5%
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  1. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    I was shooting my 629, nicely keeping them in the black at 15 yards, when I was told by the management that my rounds were too dirty! I am shooting 240gr LSWC over 19gr of 2400. They shoot great, don't lead the barrel, accurate load which I am proud to be able to control fairly well shooting DA.

    So, since I still want to shoot indoors in the winter (and the range is closer), what will make the bigger difference, switching to a jacketed or plated bullet, or using a different powder? Is most of the smoke they are seeing from the bullet lube melting off and burning?

    I also shot some 38 special wadcutters with Bullseye, and they made clouds of smoke. Of course the airflow and filter swept it all up, but the range is worried about their filter needing changing prematurely if "everybody" started shooting these loads. I understand their point, but there doesn't seem to be any legion of reloading revolver shooters ready to take over their line!

    So should I try cleaner powders with my lead bullets, or just shoot jacketed with 2400? Either way it's gonna cost me more, but I want to keep shooting my 44!
     
  2. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    I was going to suggest shooting elsewhere, till I noticed you are in Jersey...
     
  3. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Switching powder might help, but the problem is more than likely the bullet lube.

    For fastest results, try the plated or jacketed bullets - that should clear up the smoke instantly.

    For purpose of experimentation, try different powders with the lead bullets, but I think you'll find continued smokiness. I've read that Vihitivouri (sic) with lead bullets is almost as clean as shooting jacketed bullets, but that is something I've not chosen to try. I shoot outside, so it's a non-issue to me.

    Good luck.
    Q
     
  4. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

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    Its the bullet lube, switch to jacketed and you will be good to go.
     
  5. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    He can't use plated at those velocities that would be generated by 19 grains of 2400 but I agree, Jacketed bullets would solve the problem.
     
  6. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Yeah, a bulk buy of MG is in order looks like. Plated would have to be backed off, and then it isn't as much fun, right? :)

    Too bad their ventilation isn't up to snuff, my pistol range allows BP and it handles it great.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  7. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Using jacketed bullets with the 2400 will greatly reduce the smoke. Also, in your .38 Wadcutters try using WST for your powder. When I switched from W231 to WST it cut the smoke in half, even when using cast wadcutters.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  8. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    Which Vihtavouri powder would be the best replacement for 2400? Would it really look that much cleaner or make significantly less smoke? I'll have to run the numbers but the jacketed are $80 or so more, so even if the powder is twice as expensive as 2400, $40 more per case is still $50 less than changing over to jacketed.
     
  9. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    FMJ or plated is all my local indoor ranges allow. All I use in Win 231/HP-38 which poses no problems for my low-mid range target reloads.

    MANY indoor ranges ban bare lead due to the extra wear and tear on their air filtration systems.
     
  10. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I shoot at a indoor range and they have a policy of no exposed lead bases. This is mainly a health reason for their employees that are around it all the time. Their ventilation system is good enough that I never get smoke in my face, which is one reason I keep going back. Changing powders may help but it's probably the lube on the bullets. I have used 2400 at this range with XTP loaded up and I don't recall a lot of smoke.
     
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Load a "target" load, not a maximun load for indoors. 6.0 gr of Bullseye or 7.0gr of Unique. with the 240 gr lead.
     
  12. 4895

    4895 Member

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    I would forget getting the uber-pricey MG jacketed or pos plated bullets. Bear Creek Valley makes a great moly-coated bullet for about $40/500 or less depending on your source. I have great luck with them and Winchester 231. No leading, very little smoke, you can crank up the loads, and great accuracy. They are definately worth a shot (pun intended).
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    N-110 is excellent in .44 Mag.

    Plated bullets are shot by the millions, so they are obviously not "pos", just not your cup of tea, which is perfectly fine.

    I have shot Bear Creek and Precision "moly" coated bullets, and they shoot well. They are not nearly as smoke free as plated or jacketed, but much less smoky than lead.

    Powder choice can make a difference, but I do not know if another powder will be better than 2400 as far as smoke with lead goes.
     
  14. gregj

    gregj Member

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    You might also look at Bayou Bullets. They are coated with some sort of resin. Minimizes/elimates leading, virtually no smoke. They are my fav bullet, and I use a lot of them in USPSA matches.
     
  15. denton

    denton Member

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    Yes, it's probably mostly the bullet lube. Also, powders tend to get more sooty as you decrease pressure. I have no idea whether you're near a max load, but if you can, you might clean up a bit with a slightly heavier load.

    Hodgdon Universal seems to be pretty clean burning. It's hard to quantify, but that is my impression.

    Tell those lazy slugs that your range fees go to pay for all the maintenance and their salaries and that they shouldn't whine about having to do their job.....well, you may want to hold off until you've found a different place to shoot. :)
     
  16. joed

    joed Member

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    It's lube not the powder. First time I tried cast bulk bullets people at the range were asking me if I was shooting black powder. Totally turned me off and I was never going to shoot cast again. But then I tried some hard cast and noticed the problem was not as bad.
     
  17. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    The range is nice and the owner seems like a good guy. I sense that they didn't fully anticipate what handloaders could put together, which could potentially cost them more money on filtration. I'm hoping to work something out, since driving to the outdoor range is considerably further. After accounting for gas and car wear and tear, it's possible that even jacketed bullets with fancier powder may be cheaper than driving further.

    Of course, as I said before, there doesn't seem to be a legion of people showing up to shoot smoky 38 special wadcutters over bullseye. I guess it will work out in the end.
     
  18. cberge8

    cberge8 Member

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    You may want to try some of the bullets offered from the site below. Had the same issue with my indoor range when I was shooting cast lead from my .40, loaded some of these up, and was surprised to say the least. Less smoke than most factory FMJ loads, and absolutely no leading after a few hundred rounds.

    You can't order online now, this listing is from an old link. Contact Donnie on the contact page and he will get you current prices if you decide to give them a shot.

    http://www.bayoubullets.net/products.html
     
  19. jack44

    jack44 Member

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    The joy of a outdoor shooting range.
     
  20. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    I agree.

    to contribute to the OP's question, I always found that indoor ranges were nearly as cold in the winter as the outdoor ones since they have to pump so much fresh air in to keep the air clean. I now belong to an outdoor range and just choose to only go shooting on teh warmer days in the winter and the cooler ones in the summer.
     
  21. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

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    In the spirit of savings and obeying all my range rules because they are nice ranges and I want them to continue to be around. I shoot lead in the summer outdoors then I shoot extreme plated in the winter indoors.
     
  22. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    MANY indoor ranges don't allow any lead bullets and some require "complete" jacketing of the bullet---no exposed base. There are 'volumes' of lead hazards at "indoor" ranges due to "airborn lead". Google it.
     
  23. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Switch to jacketed bullets and the smoke will go away.
     
  24. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    Luckily the range is state of the art regarding their filtration. When I lit off a bunch of 158 lswc over 3.5 of Bullseye, some of the smoke swirled around me and then got carried off. The 44 magnum rounds shot plenty of smoke downrange, but nothing in the air near me. They're not worried about the lead being in the air, they are more concerned over the smoke bothering other customers (of course people can shoot rifles indoors, which I think is more bothersome, but whatever) and mucking up their filter on the roof which sucks all the lead and smoke out of the air.

    I sent Bayou an email, so I will check on current pricing and get some. I assume that I can use the same load data as my hard cast lead bullets (obviously I will work the loads up again and chrono them. Pain in the butt)

    Sounds like I will definitely have my summer outdoor loads and my winter indoor ones. Although I must say I'm looking forward to not having to clean as much, or as aggressively. A 44 after 200 rounds of Unique or 2400 and lead rounds is quite a mess! Although the 38 Special loads with Bullseye make a gun positively filthy!

    Remember the children's story "Harry the Dirty Dog"? Bullseye makes a stainless revolver with a few carbon spots into a carbon colored revolver with some stainless spots.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  25. 357holden

    357holden Member

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    im starting to reload 38 and shoot a 357 i going to use 125 grain bullet and im going to use clay powder is that OK
     
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